I agree that you do not need both a ration balancer and a multi-vitamin. Pick one.
A tablespoon of flaxseed won't do much one way or another. My horse is a bit of a hard keeper, but I feed him 2 cups/day of whole flax. When I had an easy keeper he got 1 cup daily.
I like Corta-Flx myself and it's one of the few supplements where there is at least some published research. Okay, not a huge sample size, but many of the $$$$ supplements have no published research at all. Plus, it's not expensive.
I give it to my horse but where I saw dramatic results was with my dog -- he went from being truly uncomfortable (he was always fidgety and uncomfortable lying down, which my vet told me was most likely from joint pain) to being happy and relaxed in less than a week. My horse does not show signs of arthritis but raced 30 times and my vet suggested that an oral supplement was a good idea. Corta-flx fits the bill for me right now.
Ill have to check with the boarding barn to see if they will do soaked BP. I wish feed stores sold smaller bags of BP or TC lite to single horse owners with easy keepers! Ill try to find someone to split it with me.
If BP isn't an option, any sort of hay pellet or even whatever feed the barn carries should be fine. Feeding 1/2 cup-1 cup shouldn't make much of a difference if you're using a multi-vite.
If you go with TC Lite you'll be feeding between 2-3 lb probably. At 2 lb a day, 1 bag of TC Lite should last approximately 25 days, which isn't a terribly long time. TC 30, fed at 1/2 lb a day, will last approximately 100 days (assuming it is a 50 lb. bag which I believe it is). 100 days is a long time to have feed sitting around IMO. Have you talked to your BO? There may be horses at the barn who are already on TC 30 or another RB, then you could ask if they would be willing to split bags with you.
I was thinking also that TC lite would be more calories per 1/2 lb than the TC 30 or even the SS Solution 14/6,
TCL is as said a little less than 1200 cal/lb. That's roughly the same as most RBs, give or take, and I guarantee any SS feed has at least 1300 cal/lb
It's a LITE feed - lower calories per pound
1/2 lb TC 30 or SS 14/6
1/2lb of SS 14/6 is worthless. You would need to be feeding at least 2-3lb to get the same nutrition as 1/2lb of a RB.
Also, with 1/2lb of a RB for a 14h pony, you don't really need a v/m supp. If she's working really hard but still doesn't need real calories, then I can see 1/2 serving of a v/m supp with 1/2lb of a RB.
You can try 3/4-1lb of the RB if you want. Volume-wise that's not a lot - 3c in most cases, though I've seen one (Enrich 32?) measure at 2c/lb but I might be misremembering that. You just have to weight whatever one you use. I can tell you Progressive is 3c/lb and I'm fairly certain TC30 is the same.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
I was thinking also that TC lite would be more calories per 1/2 lb than the TC 30 or even the SS Solution 14/6, which is what she is on now but at 3 quarts (another long story-you may have read earlier posts) because my current barn is using it to replace hay so Ill probably go the route of:
1/2 lb TC 30 or SS 14/6
And see how it goes. I do want to keep the corta-flex because I do think it helps her stifle.
Thanks everyone for your input! Im learning so much!
Feeding a ration balancer (TC 30) AND a vitamin and mineral supplement is duplication of effort and money. Feed one, OR the other. Not both.
Also, a tablespoon of flax is nothing. You might as well not feed it if you're going to feed a tablespoon. Mine get 1 cup a day, and that's less than some recommendations.
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
I was thinking 1/2 lb of TC 30 would be, what? 1 cup roughly? Ill weight it of course but would she really be getting enough vitamins in 1 cup of TC 30? Does it really have concentrated vitamin levels like the TC lite?
It is about the bottom line. Meaning adding 2 products such as a vit/min supp and a RB may or may not be wise. The result could be you are oversupplementing and there are some things you just do not want to do that with (Se just for example....very fine line for error there).
When should you mix 2 products? There are reasons. Just for example you have an extremely easy keeper and can only feed a fraction (lets just say 1/2) of the RB of your choice cuz at a full feeding it is just too many calories. You would need to make up the difference with a vit/mineral supp and also then consider what else may be lacking (EAA's for example).
I avoid ration balancers in my herd of very easy keepers. The feed I mix for them is fortified and balanced for EAA, vit and minerals. I select a couple oil grains (whole roasted soybeans and in winter also flax) in modest amounts and also add modest amounts of soybean oil. These oil ingredients provide the Omegas and keep them sleek and shiny. While quality grass is omega 3 rich.....well not so much this summer with the drought. Even our spring grass kinda stunk. But I was feeding a little feed along and the oil ingredients I used were enough. I did not have to add flax to keep their coats shiny and nice. Now that winter is fast approaching and pasture pretty much gone I will be adding flax. But I only have to add 2-3oz per horse depending on size and not 6-8oz like many others cuz my ration ready contains the balance of their needs.
So why do I go to all this effort vs rip open a bag and feed? For a couple reasons, this herd in general are very easy keepers and I keep their feed as low calorie as possible so I can max the poundage the receive daily. Then I max whenever possible volume. And I max chew time when possible. The feed I am feeding this winter runs roughly 1000 cal/lb. And frankly I can only get away with feeding a feed that high in calories is cuz the drought hay this year was just not so wonderful.
Also cuz I am feeding a herd and not just 1 or 2 I do this for cost savings too.
How I feed the main herd and how I feed my hard keeper....totally 2 different worlds! He does need energy dense feed.
You need to sit down and eval how many calories your horse needs based and age, breed and feeding style. You then need an idea of how many pounds your horse is eating daily. Then you can start pulling together some numbers from GA's and working thru a couple different feeding strategies and check/recheck to see if her ration is balanced.
Unless your horse lives off air like mine do I think you will likely find that a high quality RB is the best way to go for a "normal" easy keeper that is getting worked some. If adding a little bit of flax makes you feel like that brings out the dapples and shiny coat then go for it. But before you mix a vit/min supp on top the RB double check the amounts and possibly any resulting issues.....such as overdoing and causing toxicity.
For balancing pasture and/or hay, feed 1 lb. to 1.5 lbs. per 1000 lbs. of body weight. Feed .5 lbs. to .75 lbs. for ponies. For horses in moderate to high levels of activity, and for broodmares and breeding stallions, feed 1.5 lbs. to 2 lbs. per day.
For balanced diets where current feeding rates fall below the minimum for that diet, add .5 lbs. to 1 lb. per 1000 lbs. of body weight along with the diet being fed. Feed .25 lbs. to .5 lbs. for ponies. For horses in moderate to high levels of activity, and for broodmares and breeding stallions, feed 1 lb. per day.
So basically you can feed as little as 5. lb. and as much as 2 lb. a day. Because your horse is a 14 hh. pony and in "moderate" work at most, 1 lb. a day would be a good "maximum" to feed. However, yes, .5 lb. should provide adequate vitamins/minerals. IIWY I would feed .75 lb. a day and wouldn't feed a multi-vitamin with that. I may up it to 1 lb. depending on work load and forage quality.
I have no idea how many cups 1/2 lb. would be, I don't feed by cups.
YES it has concentrated vitamins/minerals.
TC Lite is LESS concentrated than TC 30 as TC Lite is designed to be fed at 1-2 lb. per 500 lb. of body weight, quote from TC below:
MATURE HORSES: Feed 1-2 pounds of Triple Crown Lite per 500 pounds of body weight per day. If more than 4 pounds of Triple Crown Lite is required to maintain the horse’s desired body condition a switch to another Triple Crown formulation such as Low Starch may be necessary.
TC Lite is designed for horses where an rb is not keeping weight on but the horse gets too fat at the 5-7 lb. recommended for most commercial feeds.
If a ration balancer is not being fed at the "required" or "suggested" amounts, a horse is not necessarily getting an optimum level of vitamins/minerals. Only my hard keepers (and those are few and far between) and broodmares end up getting the suggested 2 pounds per day, so the ones who get less RB do get an added vit/min to make up the difference.
I moved her yesterday and she's a bit on the chub side because the previous barn manager refused to reduce her grain when I asked (saying he disagreed and that I should reduce her hay-this is the same person who didnt want to give her hay ay night in the stall for 15 hours-which I later overheard him saying its because less manure in the stall, save money on bedding, less time to clean the stall, grain is cheaper than hay, less storage space, and easier to go pick up bags at the feed store vs get a load of hay) He's a real special guy and wanted to prove his point....i digress.....
She's on a handful of TC lite, her MSM, and corta-flex. The hay is excellent plentiful and her new field still has green grass because it hasnt been overgrazed all summer so Ill keep an eye on her condition and add flax if she needs it and I also have an appointment with my vet next week to do an exam on her and Ill talk to him about her diet then.
ActNatural are you even reading everyone's posts? TC Lite needs to be fed at 2-3 POUNDS a day, not "a handful". Please just read through everyone's posts as there is a ton of good info here. Unless you are adding a vit/min supplement to that TC Lite, she probably isn't getting enough vit/mins. If you don't test her hay, there is no way to tell if it is as high quality as you think it is.
I don't know why she would need flax if she is on good pasture, her condition is probably going to improve.
I hope you are slowly transitioning to grass or have her in a grazing muzzle, she could founder otherwise.
Well, I definitely dont want to put her on 2 or 3 lbs of lite in combination with an increase of grass while she is a hair on the chub side. I do have a vitamin/min supplement on hand but am going to wait until I see the vet and talk to him about it. I know that she isnt getting enough vit/min with one handful of TC lite.
And dont worry, I do have a muzzle on hand. I have also been hand grazing her quite a bit these past months because of the lack of grass in her field and lately to prep for the move.
I actually just switched my easy keeper that needs to lose a few pounds to tc 30. So far so good. He is dropping a little weight and i know he is getting the nutrients he needs. He is a 15.2 h horse so he gets the 1 lb. I also switched my dd pony to it he gets 1/2 lb because he is 13.3 h and needs to drop weight.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
The other thing to keep in mind is that your horse needs adequate protein. We had a horse at a our barn who is an air fern. She was holding her weight just fine when fed some soaked beet pulp with a vit/min supplement along with grass and hay. But her feet were terrible.
She's now on TC Senior (2 quarts/twice a day) plus a vitamin/min supplement and she looks great. Her feet have improved tremendously. She doesn't get enough senior to cover her entire nutritional needs but the vitamin/min supplement wasn't enough either.
Another horse at my barn, also an air fern, is on TC lite plus a vitamin/min supplement. This one is a Missouri Foxtrotter who is maybe 14.3 and she gets a quart am/pm of the TC.
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